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Christian Archibald Herter

Gov. Christian Archibald Herter

  • January 8, 1953 - January 3, 1957
  • Republican
  • March 28, 1895
  • December 30, 1966
  • Other
  • Harvard University
  • Married Mary Pratt; four children
  • Representative, Cabinet secretary


CHRISTIAN A. HERTER, the sixty-first governor of Massachusetts, was born in Paris, France on March 28, 1895. His early education was attained in the schools of Paris, France. He later attended the Browning School in New York and then Harvard University, where he graduated in 1915. Herter entered public service in 1915, serving as an attaché to the American Embassy in Berlin, a position he held until 1916. He also served in the State Department in Washington, D.C. from 1917 to 1919, and was the personal assistant to the Secretary of Commerce from 1921 to 1924. After working as the editor and publisher of a Boston newspaper, Herter won his first political election. He served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1931 to 1943, was speaker of the house from 1939 to 1943, and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1943 to 1953. Herter won election to the Massachusetts governorship in 1952, and was reelected to a second term in 1954. During his tenure, a housing program for the elderly was established; a department of commerce was promoted; group insurance for state workers was authorized; and a merit system for mandatory auto insurance was created. After completing his term, Herter left office on January 3, 1957. He continued to stay politically active, serving as the Under Secretary of State from 1957 to 1959. He also served as the Secretary of State from 1959 to 1961, was co-chairman of the U.S. Citizens Commission on NATO from 1961 to 1962, and served as the U.S. Special Representative for trade negotiations from 1963 to 1967. Governor Christian A. Herter passed away on December 30, 1966, and was buried in the Prospect Hill Cemetery in Millis, Massachusetts.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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